Nutrition plays one of the biggest roles in the health and longevity of our feline friends and what we choose to put in their dishes can be one of the most important decisions that we make for them. Most owners put a lot of thought into purchasing a food for the cats they love so much and want to make sure it is a healthy diet formulated specifically for their needs. Words like ‘grain-free’, ‘no by-products’, and ‘all-natural’ are things we hear about everyday but what does it all mean? Which one is the best choice for my cat? It is time again at Killarney Cat Hospital for our nutrition focus and with some help from Purina we would like to answer the most common diet questions we hear.
Are GRAIN-FREE DIETS better for my cat?
The answer is no. Grains provide carbohydrates that the body uses for energy. The brain and nervous system required carbohydrate glucose to support normal function and carbohydrates are especially important in reproducing females and growing kittens. They also provide fiber for gastrointestinal health and aid in digestion also they are important for Cat’s urinary health – one of the reasons cats like to munch on grass so much! Grains such as wheat are commonly believed to cause allergies in cats. Although possible, it is not common for cats to be allergic to wheat. The most common food allergies actually come from beef and dairy products while even more common are environmental allergies.
What about CORN?
Corn is not just filler! Corn gluten meal is easily digestible and contains essential amino acids, fatty acids and antioxidants. It is also very high in protein! That being said, the QUALITY of corn in pet foods can vary greatly. All the pet foods containing corn that we sell in our clinic are of the highest quality so you can be sure your cat is getting a digestible and nutritious diet!
Eww, BY-PRODUCTS, that just sounds gross!
By-products in pet foods meet the requirements of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and can be things like LIVER, KIDNEYS, LUNGS AND SPLEEN. They are not feathers, hair, hide, hooves or intestinal contents (the gross stuff!). Organ meats like those listed above are some of the most nutritionally dense ingredients that can be added to cat food and provide many important vitamins and minerals. All of the diets we sell at Killarney that contain by-products come from CFIA inspected plants.
What does ‘all-natural’ actually mean?
The term ‘all-natural’ means that the ingredients are derived solely from a plant, animal or mined sources and are not produced by a chemically synthetic process although chemically synthesized vitamins and minerals are allowed. That means that all of the foods and treats we sell at Killarney Cat Hospital are all-natural too!
Please remember that we are here for you when it comes to choosing the right diet for your cat and we can help you navigate through the sometimes confusing and misleading world of cat food! We want the same thing that you want – for your cat to live a long healthy and happy life!
Written by Killarney Cat Hospital